The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has marked September 27th as World Tourism Day under the theme ‘One billion tourists, one billion opportunities’.
In a statement the UNWTO has said: ‘Every time we travel, for whatever reason, we are part of a global movement; a movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs and build the sustainable societies we want for our future; a movement that builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage.
This year on the 27th of September, we want you to talk Tourism. Help us raise awareness of the important impact tourism has on countries and communities around the world and its potential as a force for good, creating a better world for all#1billiontourists#WTD2015
The statement was further reiterated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said: “Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”
The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) has welcomed the World Tourism Day theme, saying it is, ‘apt and encompassing’ as tourism benefits the whole community.
SPTO Chief Executive Ilisoni Vuidreketi stated: “We commemorate World Tourism Day and acknowledge all the stakeholders in the tourism industry in the Pacific for their continous work to encourage more visitors to our shores.”
“The economic benefits that are derived from tourism cuts across all sectors and continues to be the top gross domestic foreign exchange earner for many countries in our region,” he added.
“The UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 3% and 4% in 2015. The forecast for our region stands at 2% which is very encouraging as we are able to attract a good number of visitors to our islands,” he continued.
“At SPTO we work hard with our National Tourism Offices in the region to lure more visitors to our shores as we understand that tourism drives economic growth, which translates to more jobs for our people and a better quality of life,” he continued.
“As we commemorate this important day I urge you all to consider how you can play your part in ensuring that visitors to our beautiful island nations are welcomed and will have an enjoyable experience that will entice them to return. We all have part to play in keeping our islands clean, showing the ‘Pacific Way’ through helpful and friendly attitudes and behavior, taking pride in our culture and the environment and most importantly demonstrating what makes us Pacific people,” he added.
“From our SPTO family to yours, we wish you a happy World Tourism Day!”